It’s still summer, so Labor Day menus can lean heavily on burgers and hot dogs, but you probably want an appetizer or two to nosh on while everything else cooks. Dips are always welcome, and classics like queso and spinach artichoke dip never go out of style. Still, if you want to try something new, we’ve rounded up a dozen delectable—and different—dips.
Put out a plate of raw veggies and chips and a pitcher of sangria and your guests will be happy to wait while you fire up the grill—but don’t take too long, because it’s pretty easy to make a meal out of these delicious, hearty dips all on their own.
Actual mashed potato, crisp bacon, sharp cheese, and chives make this Greek yogurt and sour cream dip eat like a meal. Choose sturdy potato chips for dipping and try not to think about the double whammy of carbs. Get the recipe.
Mayo, cumin, chili powder, and cotija cheese slathered on grilled corn is a classic Mexican street snack (elotes), and it translates ingeniously to a dip. Feel free to add a squirt of lime, and even grill the corn and jalapeño before folding them in. Corn tortilla chips are a natural partner, but bell peppers’ sweetness would be brilliant too. Get the recipe.
If you’re looking for a meatier appetizer, this dip blends shredded barbecue pork with plenty of cheese. This is no time for carrot sticks, but smoky sweet potato chips would work (and hey, they’re technically a vegetable). Get the recipe.
A blend of minced onions and garlic, sesame and poppy seeds, and caraway mixed into cream cheese (naturally) and sour cream makes a perfect dip for bagel chips, but it’s light enough to work well with raw veggies too. Consider folding some chopped smoked salmon into the dip if you’re a lox lover. Get the recipe.
Loaded pizza dip with pepperoni, sausage, and olives is like a supreme pie with extra-extra cheese. The crust comes in the form of whatever carbs you dip. Or you could go with cauliflower. Get the recipe.
Your favorite Chinese-American delivery app makes a brilliant dip (and is a nice update on the classic hot crab dip). Unlike what you find in the takeout container, this contains real crab, not krab-with-a-k. And the warm cream cheese is joined by white cheddar and parmesan, with homemade wonton chips for scooping it up. Get the recipe.
If shrimp is more your speed, this garlicky cheese dip with white wine and lemon juice is a thing of beauty. Slices of toasted baguette are probably best for dipping, but even celery will taste amazing as a vehicle for this. Get the recipe.
Your favorite sandwich (the Reuben, of course) gets deconstructed into a warm, gooey dip full of corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing. Serve with rye crackers and carrot sticks. Get the recipe.
Buffalo sauce, chicken, and blue cheese are perfect in pretty much any form, including this wings-inspired dip. It’s definitely too good to reserve just for football season. Carrot sticks and celery are the obvious choice on the side, but try lightly roasted broccoli too. Get our Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe.
Creamy alfredo sauce, three kinds of cheese, and tender chicken combine into a dip you could almost eat with a fork. Diced tomatoes and basil make a nice fresh contrast scattered on top, and you could mix cooked spinach into the dip itself to sneak in some more vegetables if you wanted. Scoop it up with garlic bread sticks if you’re feeling especially indulgent. Get the recipe.
Do dill pickle dip one better and add ground beef, bits of bacon, and plenty of cheese, then warm it up until it’s gorgeously gooey. Any standard dipper would work here, but it does seem like the perfect time to break out some crisp French fries…. Get the recipe.
Related Video: How to Make Muffaletta Dip